Peru Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Review-Inka Grill (Cusco, Peru)

Inka Grill Cusco

While I knew I wanted to dine at Chicha, a restaurant of famed Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, during our time in Cusco I also wanted to make sure I picked some other good choices;  I didn’t want any mediocre dining experiences. Cusco is very much a “tourist” city where there is a plethora of tourist-trap looking establishments. I wanted to choose wisely…

I first discovered Inka Grill while browsing TripAdvisor (I know I know, not always the most reputable source for reviews). But numerous reviews were favorable and when I checked out its website, I was also pleased with what I saw listed on its menu (Peruvian fare all the way, just what I wanted). While the website had a link to make reservations (sometimes when restaurants recommend making reservations, they’re doing this for a reason), I didn’t and decided to wing it, hoping that I wouldn’t regret this later on.

Inka Grill Cusco

On our first day in Cusco we were actually supposed to dine at Chicha but between it taking longer than planned to travel from Ollantaytambo to Cusco (traffic and our driver being stopped at a random checkpoint in the Sacred Valley-more on that “gem” to come) and having to deal with the whole room debacle at our hotel in Cusco, I decided to eat the reservation since we would have had to literally race there. Instead I decided to try for plan B a day early, which was dining at Inka Grill.

The restaurant is located right on the Plaza de Armas and even though a staff member was standing outside with a menu, attempting to usher people to dine there (this to me is something “good” restaurants shouldn’t have to do), my concerns that this would be a lackluster meal were unfounded. The interior was bright and decidedly classy (more so than I thought it would be).

I didn’t have to worry about not having a reservation as there were still plenty of tables available. As was a theme throughout our entire time in Peru, we didn’t eat our usual amount of food, both of us just ordering entrees.

I went with the Aji Gallina, one of Peru’s most popular dishes. While I had eaten it before at a Peruvian restaurant here in Pittsburgh (that sadly has long since closed), it was awesome being able to feast on it IN Peru. It’s essentially a chicken stew that comes in a somewhat spicy and bright yellow sauce, the coloring derived from the aji peppers. It truly is one of my favorites.

Inka Grill Cusco

D opted for Lomo Saltado, another Peruvian culinary staple that I had eaten the day before at lunch while in the town of Aguas Calientes. It’s a delicious beef and vegetable stir fry that comes with rice and fries. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals.

Inka Grill Cusco

Complimentary chips and some type of salsa were also provided but unlike in America, where something like this stays on your table, as soon as the entrees came the only half eaten basket of chips was whisked away.

For two bottles of water and both of our entrees which were extremely generous portions, the meal came out to less than $40 USD. This is somewhat “pricey” for Peru and yet a meal like this in the United States would have cost a lot more.

I’m really glad to have stumbled across the Inka Grill and while it displayed “shades” of being a tourist-trap style restaurant, the food was definitely not. Dining here will definitely get you hooked on the goodness that is Peruvian food.

Inka Grill

Portal de Panes 115 Cusco Peru

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Emma
    October 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Both meals look delicious! Too bad there’s nowhere near to me where I can try Peruvian, guess I will just have to go to Peru myself!
    Emma recently posted…Beautiful Budapest – The One That Got AwayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      October 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Peruvian food is truly some of the best! And yes, you will just need to get to Peru yourself to try some out 🙂

  • Reply
    Jenn Turnbull
    October 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    You are getting me excited for my trip! Definitely noting the name of the restaurant and that dish with the pepper sauce. I knew about lomo saltado but that not that other one. Thanks for the tip.

    • Reply
      Julie
      October 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      I will be living vicariously through you when your trip comes 🙂 For me it was the opposite-I knew about and had eaten the aji before but it wasn’t until our Peruvian friend mentioned about lomo did I discover it 🙂 A couple more restaurant reviews in Cusco are coming still.

  • Reply
    Restaurant Review: Chicha por Gastón Acurio (Cusco, Peru) - The Red Headed Traveler
    October 6, 2014 at 11:34 am

    […] definitely thought my lunch the day before at Inka Grill was a lot better than Chicha’s, but as I said, I ordered poorly. I would however, be game […]

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